Friday, May 22, 2015

For the love of music: A chat with Smartmatic’s performers – Part II

Ernesto Parisca: “Music is part of who I am” 

“I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me - like food or water.” 
Ray Charles 

Ernesto Parisca, Marketing Communications Manager, used to be a professional violinist before joining Smartmatic. He realises many things have changed in his life, but as you will notice and he himself assures us, once a musician you can’t deny your nature. Ernesto is in love with music, sometimes it feels he is even talking about a corporeal entity – a “she”- from who he can’t escape. For now, the performer sits in an office, but time will tell if the professional fiddler inside him will ever come back to the stage.

Defining his relationship with music is not an easy task for Ernesto, he confesses. “It is a part of myself and it has been with me since I can remember. I started to study violin when I was six years old, and until a couple of years ago, I hardly spent more than two days without playing, except for holidays, obviously. I made my best friends while making music and I faced some of the most intense and profound experiences of my life with a violin on my shoulder. I am a violinist, I have been one since I was a little boy.”

These days it has become more and more difficult for him to keep playing. “Between work and the family, I have not enough time to commit to it as it requires. Besides, after a three-year hiatus, I do not wish to hear the “noise” that comes out of the violin while I play.” He follows his sentence with the explanation that there is a physical/ muscular component involved in the execution of violin movements, which not only justify the dedication but demand your complete engagement.

For Ernesto, then the path is very straightforward: “Except for some unique and extremely talented people, to be a decent violinist, you have to devote yourself almost exclusively to this instrument. And there are not magic solutions about it, you either practice or you will lose your confidence and your proficiency. My violin teacher – “el profe Friedman”– constantly reminded me of it: ‘One day without playing, you will feel the difference. Three days, your family will notice it. One week without playing, and even the neighbours will complain.’ In my case, I think the situation would now be a national security concern!”

The discipline behind all that jazz, as a former professional violinist, is therefore also part of who Ernesto was, is, and will be. “Maybe the perspective acquired with time will let me understand better what was all that part of my life about and what it really meant to me. For now, the professional performer is either on indefinite strike, on unpaid leave or he has just been forgotten. We’ll see.”

But the music lover doesn’t escape the reality of his passion. “The music is there, not only for me, but for everyone else. I think about it, I hear it and feel it all the time. Unfortunately, because of busy and crazy schedules, both the music and my job have become incompatible activities.” His pragmatic self believes that to do a good job playing the violin, he would need at least two hours of practice every day “to be honest, I am not sure how I could combine my routines to achieve this daily. But wait, hope is the last thing that we lose.” No more it is needed to say.

Wouldn’t it be great to listen to our performers while we read about them? We think so too, so go and enjoy this souncloud, in which Ernesto plays the second violin: El Cuarteto Friedman.